Letter: Why I stepped down from the warming centre project

Everett Baker writes about why he left the controversial project.

Editor, the Gazette:

Re: My leadership of the warming centre

After spending some time and talking with my family about my leadership at the warming center (ed. note: Announced in the Dec. 19 issue of the Gazette), I feel I can’t bring anything new to the table so I will be stepping down as community lead.

This has not been a easy decision. All I ever wanted to do was help those out in the cold. When the mayor asked for help I stepped up, because that’s what good citizens do. The community knew my feeling about the Second Street supportive housing project, about which I was vocal during the campaign period. But that didn’t stop me from trying, even if I was proven wrong. I didn’t go to social media and say “we can’t, we can’t, we can’t.” I came to the project saying “we can.”

I have been ridiculed and blasted. My integrity has been called into question. This was never my project – it was a community project that included healthcare workers, RCMP, regional directors, city councillors and non-profits all looking to help with the pending cold weather and the lives at risk, both homeless and flood-affected.

Just because I have stepped aside doesn’t mean that what some consider a problem is gone. We as a community need to look at what makes Grand Forks. Stop the entitlement and start reaching out to those less fortunate.

Respectfully,

Everett Baker,

Grand Forks

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